Managing natural catastrophies

Viable Systems to prevent human tragedy – the Hawai’ian example

Both in the handling of natural catastrophies and in the global economy an efficient crisis management is called for. This needs two ingredients: Cybernetics and a Viable System Model® (VSM®). These two components are of great importance in both the handling of natural catastrophies and in the global economy. They maintain order in the system and provide security. Anja Reissberg shows the connections and provides recommendtions for solutions for a secure risk management in both environment and organizations.

The author:
Dr. Anja Reissberg was born in Munich and studied Economic Geography at the Ludwig-Maximilians University. She holds a  PhD in Geography from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, USA where she deepened her focus on the interface of natural disasters, the economy and society. She researched human-induced social, economic, environmental and cultural vulnerabilities, in particular the functioning of the Hawai’ian hurricane hazard management system. For coping with the extreme complexity, interconnectivity and dynamics of such challenges for the first time she applied the most innovative and powerful cybernetic tool of the (so called) Viable System Model which led her to entirely new and highly relevant insights into the inner workings and deep structures of the organizations involved and, most importantly, reasons for inefficiencies and mismanagement.

Immersing herself in the islands for seven years, she worked with local, state, federal, non-governmental and privat-sector organizations, departments and agencies to overcome interdisciplinary and bureaucratic boundaries thereby coming to highly relevant recommendations for the functioning of the wholistic total emergency system which would save countless lives in the case of any major disaster. Her dissertation on these complex systemic challenges in Management Cybernetics brought her to Malik in 2010 as a Systems Expert with a focus on the functioning of loosly-coupled dynamic networks of organizations.